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Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Do you own a Rolls Royce?

Clip Art: a flash sports carIt's no good having a Rolls Royce, the latest high-performance Jaguar or a Lamborghini parked outside your house if there is no one to exploit its real potential or for its passengers to gain a wonderful enjoyment of the experience.

So, too, with all the recent innovations that we are presently experiencing in schools. For some schools the Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) is such a 'white elephant' where, despite the 'oos' and 'ahs' of the visitors the actual passengers (the pupils) do not rate the experience and the driver (the teacher) has hardly gained a licence to drive the IWB! In fact, some schools are disposing of their IWBs, generally due to the lack of confidence of the driver to actually get in and try the 'brute' out. Rather than being so frustrated, I would suggest that more teachers should actually get into the driving seat of their IWB, VLE or e-Portfolio and actually begin to enjoy the experience.

I'm presently writing this post at lunchtime at the ORT International VLE Seminar week - which also happens to be an opportunity for this international audience to visit BETT. I was priveledged to present a keynote presentation on 'VLEs - Evolution or Revolution?'. The reason for mentioning this is that I have been very impressed by the clarity of thought concerning VLEs in schools. If a country like Argentina can produce really creative resources by all of its teachers then perhaps teachers in the UK had better look out. Their attitude to sharing work through Creative Commons is far more productive than the protectionist IP lobby that some feel obliged to follow.

But I really must get back to the theme of e-Portfolios and ask that we start to share good practice and, like the Argentinians, begin to develop a more creative and exciting learning environment for all our students, staff and institutions included!

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